Dublin Bus cuts top route by 36%

Dublin Bus has slashed services on what was seen as one of its top routes.

Route 4 has 36% fewer buses per week compared to the old 4 and 4a bus routes which were merged two weeks ago.

Updated bus stop timetables were also only put in place after the cuts were implemented leaving passengers at stops with incorrect or no information. Notice of the changes was posted on Dublinbus.ie a week before the change.

On weekdays there are now 58 fewer bus journeys per day, a 30% drop. On Saturdays, 66 bus journeys were cut leaving 62 buses per day. The reductions was most severe on the Sunday timetable where a cut of 66% was made leaving just 17 services southbound and 16 northbound for the day.

Dublin Bus said the changes are an “overall minor frequency adjustment,” but a spokeswoman did not respond to questions on the exact changes.

Route 4 serves areas from the Northside of the city to the Southside, including: Ballymun, Glasnevin, Phibsboro, the City Centre, Ballsbridge, Sandymount, Blackrock, and Monkstown.

The changes are part of the Dublin Bus Network Direct project to streamline bus services. Public consultation for the no 4 bus route only covered extending the route – the merger and frequency reductions again were not revealed.

The semi-State company claimed that the changes were advertised in national newspaper advertisements. However, while other route mergers were mentioned, the advertisements did not make any reference to merging the 4 and 4/a routes or the timetable cuts.

Adding to confusion of users, timetables were first only changed online. Timetables at some bus stops were left unchanged or blank for up to a week after the cuts leaving commuters waiting at stops for buses that were not due to arrive.

Last week, over a week after the changes were made, Dublin Bus defended the lack of information at bus stops.

The company said: “This is a process obviously, that can take a number of days but since last week all of our on-street information on the Northside of the city relating to Route 4 has been updated, the city centre information is updated and almost all of the on-street information on the Southside of the city is complete.”

The National Transport Authority, which approved the changes, said Dublin Bus is only required to provide correct and up-to-date timetables on at least 95% of bus stop. But beyond what is strictly required, the authority said it has raised the issue of lack of up-to-date timetables at stops with Dublin Bus.

CUTS BY NUMBERS

The following is a breakdown of frequency reductions of buses per day on the new Route 4 compared the old 4/a timetable.

Northbound and Southbound combined
Weekdays: 30% fewer buses – 187 to 129
Saturdays: 52% fewer buses – 128 to 62
Sundays: 66% fewer buses – 96 to 33

Southbound
Weekdays: 96 before, 65 after
Saturdays: 66 before, 30 after
Sundays: 49 before, 17 after

Northbound
Weekdays: 91 before, 64 after
Saturdays: 62 before, 32 after
Sundays: 47 before, 16 after

CORRECTION (October 6, 2010 at 23:00): This article originally said the total cut in bus numbers per week was 50%, that was incorrect. The total reduction in buses per week was 36%. The article above has been corrected to show this.

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